From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jennifer's Body - B

Rated R for sexuality, bloody violence, language and brief drug use, 102 minutes

Entertaining "Jennifer's Body" features a hot Fox and a sluggish story

There's no denying that Megan Fox is hot. We get the point. The pretty young star of the new dark comedy horror film "Jennifer's Body" makes a decent transition from the awful "Transformers 2" film to a slick new film written by Diablo Cody, the Oscar-winning scribe of "Juno." Without Cody's decent dialogue and the eye candy that Fox provides, there wouldn't be much to go on in the entertaining, crowd-pleasing film that falters to tell a truly great "Lost Boys"-style story.

Nerdy, reserved bookworm Needy ("Big Love" and "Mamma Mia" star Amanda Seyfried) and arrogant, conceited cheerleader Jennifer (Fox) are best friends, though they share little in common. They share even less in common when Jennifer mysteriously gains an appetite for human blood after a disastrous fire at a local bar and she ends up a sacrifice in a satanic ritual. Things go terribly wrong as Needy's male classmates are steadily killed off in gruesome attacks, the young girl must uncover the truth behind her friend's transformation and find a way to stop Jennifer's bloodthirsty rampage before it reaches her own boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons).

"Jennifer's Body" is an enjoyable, above-average and horror flick with a star-making role for Fox, who really gets a good bite out of her role. True, she's better than she was in "Transformers" but then that may not be saying much. Much of the bitchiness she conveys here seems to be natural, that or she's playing a part that's close to her offscreen persona. Seyfried is the one with the real acting ability and she does well in the bookworm role, though she's clearly secondary to queen Megan.

Directed by newcomer Karyn Kusama, it's an auspicious choice for the "Girlfight" director, though the details of Cody's story are murky and lack a great deal of logic (why these two girls are friends in the first place is really a stretch). And though Fox and Seyfried have good interplay, "Jennifer's Body" is hurt by the crucial miscasting of Adam Brody ("The O.C.") as one of the sinister members of the mysterious rock band that takes an interest to Jennifer. His blandness fails to amp up the chemistry needed to be the next "Twilight," and it drags down the film. However, watch for the greatly underused and always funny Amy Sedaris in a very brief role as Needy's mom.

That's not to say that "Jennifer's Body" isn't entertaining or enjoyable, it is, but the best scenes are the ones with Fox seducing her male classmates and then heartily chomping down on them. Yes, it's graphically violent and bloody and often suspenseful, but it's all in (dark) fun. Fox is much like a few successful stars that have gone before her (Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck come to mind) of those aspiring to be great actors but really are just great personalities.

Take "Jennifer's Body" for what's it's worth, a dark, campy and entertaining horror film. It's not as perfect as Megan Fox's body, but then that would be asking for too much.